Bouncing cheques bite tradie hard

A ROOF plumber, who was declared bankrupt in March with a debt to the tune of $277,000, embarked on a fraudulent scheme to get back on his feet, Gympie Court heard this week.

Christopher David Bennett, 20, faced 24 charges of fraud for passing off dud cheques to purchase car parts, tools and farming equipment from Gympie businesses. He was also charged with one count of stealing (a vice and incinerator) from his former landlord.

A complaint about Bennett was made to police in June and police officers who searched his home found a cheque book and a number of letters from the bank about dishonest cheques.

“He was well aware there was no money in the account (because) he opened it and just started writing cheques,” police prosecutor Snr Const Lisa Manns said.

Defence solicitor Corey Jenkins said his client became bankrupt when a large building company refused to pay (for their work).

“He was forced to start over again. The primary reason he obtained these goods was to get his car on the road and find work. He has since made arrangements with many of the businesses to pay back what he owes.”

Bennett, of Railway Parade, Theebine, was placed on probation for 12 months and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

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